Last week I called my friend and colleague Stan Zaffos over at Gartner and asked him to come on theCUBE to talk about his new Magic Quadrant that I thought he’d published already. Stan said the report would actually be coming out that very day (the 21st) but he was headed into a meeting and would call me back to talk about it. I haven’t heard from him yet but this weekend I got a glimpse of the most recent “Gartner Magic Quadrant for General-Purpose Disk Arrays.”
For many companies, the cloud remains an amorphous mystery that is only the stuff of speculation and conversation. For some companies, though, the cloud has become the business as they’ve embraced what the cloud can do for them.
One company recently turned upside down its entire business model and eliminated their physical product delivery service in favor of a cloud-based electronic service. This company, TrainSignal, provides computer-based training products for IT pros.
Disclaimer: I’ve done a lot of work for TrainSignal over the years, having created ten full-length video training courses.
Oracle reported disappointing earnings yesterday, with profits flat and revenue down 1%. The company blamed the results on a poor sales execution strategy, which no doubt did have a negative impact on Q3 earnings. But the long-term threat to Oracle’s database business isn’t sales strategy but open source Big Data.
Mobile devices play a dual role in the context of Big Data. Mobile devices – namely traditional mobile phones, smartphones and tablets – are both sources of Big Data and delivery mechanisms for Big Data.
Mobile as Source of Big Data
Flash competitors are aggressively jockeying for position as the market heats up. It’s a tale of two styles. On the one hand, EMC’s entrance into the all-flash array market targets traditional IT segments. It will both pressure competitive offerings and its own high-end block storage business. EMC is positioning to cannibalize its own base before others cut too deep into the EMC muscle; but it must walk a fine line. At the other end of the spectrum, Fusion-io is uniquely positioned to serve the hyperscale market and currently stands alone with a software-led strategy that leverages atomic writes and delivers new value to database workloads.
“The storage needs of business and application owners are simple: Give me storage when I need it. Provide services appropriate for my application in the most cost-effective manner. Charge me for what I use, don’t charge me for unnecessary waste.
Service-oriented storage has the potential to meet business needs by inherently offering the ability to:
- Provision storage capacity and function that meets application requirements based on performance, scalability, availability, cost and security needs of the business.
When talking about Big Data, the conversation tends to focus on Data Science and analytics. That is, the stories about Big Data that hit the front pages of the mainstream press and the hallway conversations taking place at events like Strata are mostly about all the cool new ways to use data to greater effect.
But Big Data Analytics doesn’t take place in a vacuum. It takes place in the enterprise. And any time you mix data and the enterprise, you can’t afford to ignore data management best practices. It may not be as sexy as predictive analytics, but failure to apply fundamental data management best practices to Big Data projects can lead not just to failed projects, but to potential legal consequences as well.
With its recent announcement, VCE is showing the world that it is more than a solution of parts from the parent companies (Cisco, EMC, VMware and Intel). VCE’s revenue is now tracking over $1B per year thanks to Q4 2012 being over $250M and according to industry trackers, is the top selling converged infrastructure solution. The most notable piece of VCE’s recent announcement is that for the first time, the company is bringing a software product to market that was developed in-house – VCE Vision Intelligent Operations which will start shipping with all Vblocks in April 2013. First of all, the creation of a new software line is a proof point that the company is not a short-term project; despite the coopetition between parent companies, the bottom line is that VCE provides revenue and strategic value in how EMC and Cisco bring data center solutions to the market. At its core, VCE Vision software helps deliver on the mission of the company, which is to help simplify infrastructure for virtualized environments by moving from siloed components to management at the rack level. Managing by the rack rather than the component is how hyperscale companies manage their environments at much lower operational costs (see Rack Level Architectures and Hyperscale Operations). Virtualization administrators will now manage a “Vblock” item directly in vCenter, so the internal components become invisible, allowing for much less day-to-day touching of the solution.
As we enter the last month of the first quarter of 2013, it’s clear that some of the stalwarts of the IT industry are struggling with a rapidly changing market and rapidly changing technological trends. Today’s IT landscape looks far different than the one we saw just a few short years ago and the biggest fish in the IT sea appear to be having issues adjusting to the constantly shifting market waves.
I have a few observations and opinions about three of the largest players in the space and I thought I’d share them.
Tomorrow marks the kickoff of Strata Conference 2013. This year, SiliconANGLE Wikibon is expanding its coverage from two days to three full days of live broadcast from the show floor. Tune into theCUBE at SiliconANGLE.tv all week to catch it all, and log on to strataconf.com/live between 8:45 am and 10:00 am PST Wednesday and Thursday to watch the live keynotes.
We start things off Tuesday morning when we welcome Edd Dumbill, Co-Chair of the Strata Conference, to theCUBE. Edd and hosts Dave Vellante and John Furrier will preview the upcoming action and layout the themes we’ll be covering.